December 19, 2017


Pelosi slammed by GOP for calling tax bill 'Armageddon' (Matt Richardson, 12/04/17, Fox News)

Approached for comment on the sweeping legislation -- worth roughly $1.4 trillion - Pelosi declared the legislation "the end of the world."

She added, "This is Armageddon."

Five years later, what did the stimulus bill accomplish? (PBS, Feb 17, 2014)

Half of the total fiscal support for the economy, or about $689 billion, from the recovery act and subsequent measures was in the form of tax cuts directed mostly at families. 

Obama signs tax-cut bill (GLENN THRUSH and ABBY PHILLIP 12/17/2010, Politico)

President Barack Obama celebrated the spirit of compromise Friday as he signed a controversial $858 billion tax cut and unemployment insurance extension into law -- but warned that bipartisan comity could be fleeting.

The bill, the result of a deal Obama cut with Senate Republicans over the objections of many Democrats, was a major victory for a White House that spent much of the past two years battling a unified GOP on the stimulus and health care reform.

Obama's payroll tax cut victory is official: Senate and House pass two-month renewal Friday  (JOSEPH STRAW, 12/23/11, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)'

A jubilant President Obama finally signed a stopgap payroll tax extension into law Friday, telling Congress it's time to spare America another partisan spectacle in the new year.

"When Congress returns, I urge them to keep working, without drama, without delay, to reach an agreement that extends this tax cut as well as unemployment insurance through all of 2012," Obama said, addressing reporters briefly before departing to spend Christmas in Hawaii with his family.

Obama said the government has to create an environment where "if you work hard you'll be rewarded. The kind of economy where everybody does their fair share, where everybody plays by the same set of rules, everybody has a fair chance, and everybody's acting responsibly -- including those of us here in Washington."

He didn't take any questions and was careful to thank Congress for doing the right thing by passing the two-month extension earlier Friday.

But despite Obama's subdued, conciliatory demeanor, he left little doubt he understood he has emerged from the payroll slugfest firmly atop the political high ground on an important issue.

"Thank you, guys. Aloha," he said as he exited the briefing room.

The new deal calls for a House-Senate conference committee to convene in January to negotiate a full-year extension of the Social Security payroll tax cut, which saves the average worker about $1,000 per year. Extending the cuts was a key part of Obama's jobs plan.

After weeks of hard-nosed political combat that showed the usual partisan-divided Washington, the House and Senate acted by unanimous consent, which short-circuits the normal legislative process and allows almost instantaneous results.

President Obama signs massive spending bill, tax measures into law (Mary Troyan,  Dec. 18, 2015, USA Today)

President Obama signed a huge tax and spending package into law on Friday following congressional votes that avoided a year-end showdown over the budget and ended legislative business until lawmakers return in 2016.

The Senate's 65-33 vote approved both the $1.1 trillion catch-all spending bill and a $622 billion series of tax breaks. The House earlier passed the two pieces separately by solid majorities -- the tax package Thursday and the spending bill Friday morning.

Lawmakers generally viewed the legislation as an imperfect but acceptable compromise between conservative and liberal priorities.

"Congress can now move into 2016 with a fresh start," House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said.

The tax package permanently extends the enhanced child tax credit and earned income tax credit that were boosted by the 2009 economic stimulus, and extends through 2019 a popular corporate tax break that allows companies to more quickly depreciate the value of new equipment.

Obamacare Tax Subsidies: Bigger Deficit, Fewer Taxpayers, Damaged Economy  (Paul Winfree, 5/24/11, Heritage)

Obamacare's tax subsidies are available for certain households who purchase federally approved coverage in the newly created state health insurance exchanges. Households below 400 percent of the federal poverty level qualify for the subsidies unless they are eligible for Medicare or Medicaid or they can receive coverage through their employer that meets standards established in Obamacare.[3]

The tax subsidy is structured to cap the percentage of family income that these households pay for health insurance with an actuarial value of 70 percent, equivalent to a "silver" plan in the exchanges.[4] The percentage is based on a sliding scale, so the subsidy decreases as household income rises. Households at 133 percent of the FPL will receive a tax subsidy that limits their out-of-pocket premium contribution to 3 percent of gross income. Households between 300 percent and 400 percent of the FPL will receive a tax subsidy that limits their premium contribution to 9.5 percent of household income.[5]

Besides income, the tax subsidy is determined by the premiums people would expect to pay for a "silver" plan in the exchanges, adjusted for the person's age. Since Obamacare allows premiums to reflect the fact that older individuals are more likely to have higher health care expenses, older individuals receive a more generous tax subsidy.[6]

When it takes effect in 2014, the Obamacare tax subsidy will become the largest tax subsidy that many families receive. Currently, the two largest tax credits are the child tax credit ($1,000 per child per year) and the earned income tax credit (EITC), which can be worth up to several thousand dollars. [...]

The CBO estimates that the subsidies will add $100 billion to the deficit by 2018, growing more expensive thereafter.

Posted by at December 19, 2017 3:41 PM